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Will Nook be sold to Rakuten Kobo?
#1  FrustratedReader 11-14-2019, 01:08 PM
All quotes from Wikipedia.

What will the new owners of Barnes and Noble do with the Nook? Or will they take a hands off approach to the management of B&N?

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On May 23, 2016, Waterstones announced it had sold its ebook business to Rakuten Kobo Inc., and as of June 14, 2016, users were required to access their ebooks via Kobo's ebook site.

Waterstones
(Formerly Waterstone's)
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In April 2018, hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation bought a majority stake in the company, leaving Alexander Mamut's Lynwood Investments with a minority holding.[119] The sale completed in early June 2018.[120] Daunt remained as chief executive.
Barnes and Noble
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In August 2019, Elliott Management Corporation acquired the company.
Nook
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"In March 2016, Barnes & Noble stated they would no longer sell digital content in the United Kingdom.[46] It announced that from March 15, 2016, the UK Nook Store and the UK Nook Reading App for Android will cease operation. Whilst Barnes & Noble did not give a reason for ceasing Nook sales in the UK, commentators attributed the decision to declining sales.[47] On March 15, 2016, Barnes & Noble announced it would close the Nook App Store and Nook Video,[48] probably because Google's Play Store, which runs on Barnes & Noble devices, has been far more successful.[49] In the UK, those who have bought, respectively, e-book or video content will need to open accounts with other providers in order to not lose the content.[49]

B&N continues to sell e-books as well as digital magazines and newspapers in the US."

"On June 25, 2014, Barnes & Noble announced that the Nook division business would be spun off into an independent company.[77] On December 4, 2014, Barnes & Noble announced an end to its partnership with Microsoft connected to Nook and that it intended to complete the separation of Nook by the end of the first quarter of 2015.[78] However, in February 2015, B&N decided to keep the Nook division for the short term future.[79] In April 2016, B&N outsourced most Nook technical services to be managed by an Indian company Bahwan CyberTek.[80]"
There has been increasing difficulty for users of the Nook and purchasers of Nook content from Barnes and Noble.

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Issues
Compatibility issues

Nook for Mac users have noted the app has compatibility issues with Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion. While the application requires OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, many users have documented the performance issues under Mountain Lion (and consequently all Macs sold since July 2012).[69]
Locked file table

The file table on the Nook is locked, meaning that external programs, such as Calibre, cannot be used to automatically organize uploaded files. All organization must be undertaken on the device itself, one book at a time, and such organization cannot be backed up or saved elsewhere.[70]
Lending restrictions

A book can only be lent once through the Nook's LendMe program.[71][72]
Downloading of NOOK Store content

Purchasing Barnes & Noble digital content and letting the credit card expire prevents re-downloading of the content until a valid credit card is entered into the account.[73][74] This is required because most downloads from Barnes & Noble have copy restrictions (DRM), and credit cards are required to unlock them.
On September 17, 2014, Barnes & Noble removed the "download" button from many books in the My Nook online library, without advance warning. The removal of these buttons, which permitted readers to download copies of their ebooks and transfer that content to other apps or devices, upset numerous users. User complaints and inquiries, via telephone, email, online chats, and social media forums, yielded the following, standard B&N response:[75]

We're sorry, but the ability to sideload NOOK purchased content has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience. — NOOK Customer Care (@NOOK_Care) September 17, 2014[76]
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#2  Tomk2 11-14-2019, 09:01 PM
Rumor has it that Daunt has said that the Nook can remain as long as it "keeps pace" with the Kindle. Daunt is a bookseller, who revamps book stores to make them profitable. In his UK stores, he had a stint selling Kindles. He has been reported as saying that he has no interest in selling someone else's devices.

So who knows? It would seem Daunt has no particular interest one way or the other in the Nook or ebooks, so Nook may sputter along as long as it doesn't cause any aggravation. But being a division in a corporation that is deemed unessential does not seem like job security. The bugger about privately held companies is that they can be very opaque to the inquisitive.

Personally, I have a dozen or so books trapped in the B&N ecosystem because I did not download them while I had a chance. I am unlikely to switch back to Nook, so the only interest I have is that I might be able to recover those books if B&N transfers the services to someone else.
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#3  rcentros 11-14-2019, 09:44 PM
There's been lots of compatibility issues with new Macs and old software (with many applications), so that really doesn't mean that... "There has been increasing difficulty for users of the Nook and purchasers of Nook content from Barnes and Noble." As for not being able to download eBooks from B&N for side-loading, that's an old issue from five years ago. I'm guessing Waterstones may sell Nooks at some point, but the "case" made here doesn't seem particularly cohesive.
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#4  MGlitch 11-14-2019, 10:39 PM
Quote rcentros
There's been lots of compatibility issues with new Macs and old software (with many applications), so that really doesn't mean that... "There has been increasing difficulty for users of the Nook and purchasers of Nook content from Barnes and Noble." As for not being able to download eBooks from B&N for side-loading, that's an old issue from five years ago. I'm guessing Waterstones may sell Nooks at some point, but the "case" made here doesn't seem particularly cohesive.
I believe BN also stopped officially supporting the apps before the later OSs came out. They had remained accessible only through a direct link to the page with them on it and then only until one of BNs many recent website redesigns was finally more than slapping a new coat of paint on the walls and celebrating.

I seem to recall Windows users had issues with the Nook Study app akin to the Mac users issues.

I would love it if Rakuten did buy out Nook, because then my libraries would be merged without relying on certain plugins to assist in this. But I don't think it's going to happen based on the speculation in the OP.

Though I also do not think Waterstones will start carrying the Nook given the rather disastrous moves of Nook UK and the negative experience that left the Nook UK customers with. Daunt also doesn't seem to have any particular love of ebooks, certainly not an outright dislike but I can't see him trying to champion a device and service which already failed in the UK, and has proved to be a money loser in the US despite many cost saving cutback moves of BN.
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#5  FrustratedReader 11-15-2019, 04:53 AM
Indeed corporate inertial means the most likely thing is that nothing will change.
I wasn't suggesting it likely that Rakuten would take over Nook, just that the Nook seems to be in an awkward situation made worse by the take over of B&N.

If I had B&N ebooks I'd want to make sure they worked on something else. Copyright is good. DRM is evil, it removes rights of consumers and turns what they think was a purchase into a temporary licence which can be revoked by turning off servers, or failing to keep producing the DRM compatible device at a corporate whim.

I've books over 100 years old. I've some 80 yo records. I've CDs, DVDs, BDs. How long does a physical ereader last?
I've all my ebooks backed up. I have backups of backups. Probably most are public domain, but I have bought eBooks from Amazon (not all had DRM) and Smashwords (none ever had DRM).

Long ago I used commercial video libraries and subscription TV. I still use the Public Library.

No-where did I ever see it clearly stated (or usually not stated) that when I buy content I'm really only renting a temporary licence. I get it about Copyright. I've never made copies of any copyright material for anyone else.

So now I make sure I don't buy digital content that can't be backed up and used on a different device, somehow.

Someday I might transfer my VHS tapes. I don't think they make VHS machines now and some of the content isn't on DVD/BD. Also why should I buy it again unless I can afford it? I have bought DVD or BD versions of some VHS for quality. Though I have a 46" 4K I'd not repurchase any DVDs in BD, the change in quality compared to a good DVD is too marginal compared to the big change from VHS to DVD.

Back to eBooks:
I don't think anyone with physical bookshops likes ebooks, or Amazon. None seem to have figured out how to sell ebooks instore. Maybe 30% of people don't have broadband or WiFi in Ireland. Though just about everyone has smartphones and can use an app to buy and read an ebook.
Also traditional publishers are mostly doing new titles on eBook. Why are they not using POD (for paper) and eBooks for the massive back catalogue. The Big US Corps have got Copyright extended to death + 75 years. Even 50 was too long. Yet you can't buy the books!
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#6  fjtorres 11-15-2019, 07:47 AM
Quote FrustratedReader
All quotes from Wikipedia.

What will the new owners of Barnes and Noble do with the Nook? Or will they take a hands off approach to the management of B&N?

Elliot will not be a hands-off owner.
Daunt has made it clear he will be directy running B&N to change its practices and make the stores more locally-focused. He will still be running Waterstones but he will be spending about 75% of his time in NYC, the rest in London.

Some of his statements about changes are hopeful but a couple suggest he has some learning ahead.

As pointed above, Nook's fate will depend on whether sales are stable or still declining. As long as it is self-sustaining it'll stay open, but if not it will be...disposed of.

Yes, it is in an awkward position. Mostly because Daunt is no friend of ebooks. He also is no fan of "lifestyle" merchandise in the stores. He is all about print.

What comes next will take time to play out as he tries to stem the decline in traffic.
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#7  Tarana 11-15-2019, 12:23 PM
Quote fjtorres
As pointed above, Nook's fate will depend on whether sales are stable or still declining. As long as it is self-sustaining it'll stay open, but if not it will be...disposed of.
I personally think it will be disposed of. I, for one, have bought exactly one book from B&N since they removed the download feature. Yes, I can still download them, but I only get the free books. My only form of protest against the sideloading issue is not buying. Plus I really sympathized with the UK Nook owners who were left to drift. Fortunately, others figured out how to use the Nook after factory reset without registration.
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#8  Apache 11-15-2019, 01:35 PM
Quote Tarana
I personally think it will be disposed of. I, for one, have bought exactly one book from B&N since they removed the download feature. Yes, I can still download them, but I only get the free books. My only form of protest against the sideloading issue is not buying. Plus I really sympathized with the UK Nook owners who were left to drift. Fortunately, others figured out how to use the Nook after factory reset without registration.
I used to buy a lot of books from B&N. Before eBooks I could walk out with $200.00 worth of books. I have bought exactly zero books since they stopped allowing downloads. I also stopped using my Nooks.
Apache
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#9  Nate the great 11-15-2019, 03:01 PM
I think it's the most likely possibility, yes
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#10  jhowell 11-15-2019, 04:25 PM
I can see why B&N may want to sell Nook, but why would Rakuten want to buy it?

Sure they get the customers, but they come with existing devices that would have to be supported. It might not be worth it considering that if Nook shuts down they are likely to pick up many of those people anyway.
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